Man in custody following threats tied to Van Dyke trial, police say

Jason Van Dyke en route to the courthouse

"Maximum, whatever the maximum sentence is, that's what we want to see". That's the criteria for second-degree murder. That could mean Van Dyke is effectively sentenced only for second-degree murder, with its lower four-year mandatory minimum.

He had been charged with first degree-murder, a charge that requires a finding that the shooting was unnecessary and unreasonable.

The verdict in Chicago is among the exceptions - and the second time in recent months that a jury has convicted a police officer in a controversial shooting.

This trial has drawn particular scrutiny in part because of how rarely officers are charged with fatally shooting people on duty.

Even the staff of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration were given the option to call it a day before the verdict, as police-reform activists swiftly massed in front of City Hall.

After less than two full days deliberating on three weeks of testimony, jurors returned Friday with 17 guilty verdicts and one acquittal. Seven are white, three are Hispanic, one is Asian-American and one is African-American.

City officials and business owners beefed up security as the trial neared an end, while thousands of police officers were deployed to the streets. The video, played repeatedly at trial, shows Van Dyke opening firing.

Nothing can brink back McDonald, but thankfully Jason Van Dyke is being held accountable.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys clashed over what the footage actually proved.

"If you don't have hope, you don't have anything", she said. "He made it up". Voters then dismissed the prosecutor in the case, who waited a year to charge Van Dyke.

Meanwhile, defense attorney Dan Herbert had argued that Van Dyke was justified in his use of force and the death was a "tragedy, but not a murder". In the initial report, McDonald claimed the teen was acting erratically and charged towards him, causing the officer to fire 16 gunshots.

Video shows moment McDonald was gunned down by police. But the officer maintained the rest of his account.

"We have to look at this from Jason Van Dyke's perspective", he said. Van Dyke testified that McDonald was the first person he ever shot.

To boost their contention that McDonald was risky, defense attorneys built a case against the teenager, who had been a ward of the state for most of his life and wound up in juvenile detention after an arrest for marijuana possession. They also pointed to an autopsy that showed McDonald had the hallucinogenic drug PCP in his system.

The prosecution said Van Dyke fired unnecessarily within six seconds after arriving at the scene, striking McDonald 16 times.

One of them, a white woman, noted that other officers on scene that night didn't use deadly force. The jurors, who did not give their names, said the veteran police officer did nothing to deescalate the situation that led up to the fatal shooting. They have all pleaded not guilty. The Justice Department investigated multiple police departments and found patterns of racial discrimination. A week before Van Dyke's trial began, Emanuel announced he would not run for a third term.

The city of Chicago had already reached a $5-million civil settlement with McDonald's family. "The concern was that it as a very real possibility, based on the way these cases usually go".

"We never lost eye contact, his eyes were bugging out, his face was just expressionless", Van Dyke said.

Herbert countered, "Race had absolutely nothing to do with this".

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